How powerful is the impact of influence? In 1964 a young woman called Kitty Genovese lost her life. As she screamed for help, the neighbors heard her screams . . . but did nothing! Why? Psychologists call it the bystander effect. In essence, this theory states that individuals are less likely to offer help to a victim in the presence of other people.

If someone is asked to complete a task alone, the sense of responsibility will be strong. However, if a group is required to complete the same task together, each individual will have a weak sense of responsibility because each is thinking . . . "someone else will do the task . . ."

Could the Christian fall into this trap? Could the Christian not act when others are around? Do we influence others directly and indirectly? Yes. Ellen G. White shares this thought, "We each have some power of influence. Men are led to change their plans in temporal matters by the influence of others who approach them in a judicious manner, presenting reason for such a change . . . Why not use this power of influence to persuade them in matters that pertain to their eternal interest? Use your influence in persuading men to believe the truths of the Bible." RH June 16, 1801, par. 8

What influence are you giving to those that surround you? How is your influence impacting those who you love? What change can you make this Sabbath to make sure your influence has a salvific impact? Make that change today! So, until the next time, this is Pastor Howard Tello reminding you that thoughts do change lives!


Pastor Howard Tello